Drawing Supplies

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Browse the varied selection of drawing supplies available at Staples® to find the right tools for creating sketches. The right set of drawing implements to get depends on the user's skill level. While beginners and school-age kids only require basic tools, professionals need more precise and versatile art supplies in their drawing kits.

Essential Accessories to Get When Shopping for Drawing Supplies
The four essential drawing tools for budding artists are pencil, paper, pencil sharpener, and eraser. Regular pencils have solid cores made of graphite and charcoal. They are available in different hardness levels, with each producing lines of unique thickness and intensity. Manufacturers classify drawing pencils with an HB scale and a numerical scale. The number and H designation of a pencil describe the hardness of its graphite core. The harder the implement, the lighter it draws. B expresses the blackness of a pencil mark. Soft drawing pencils have markings ranging from B to 8B while hard ones bear HB to 5H.

There are three features artists have to look for when comparing drawing paper. These are texture, weight, and durability. Sketchbooks with a smooth texture are best for soft pencils. Choose acid-free sketch paper to make drawings last longer. For erasers, look for one that's soft and smooth. It should remove lines cleanly, leave little to no residue, and preserve the surface of drawing paper.

Choose an Artist Set for a Complete Collection of Drawing Supplies
Drawing sets contain all the supplies needed by most artists. These sets usually have multiple pencils and erasers. They may also include additional drawing implements like sketching pens and blending stumps. Pick a set of graphite pencils of different grades ranging from B (softest) to 5H (hardest). Mechanical pencils allow users to make small sketches and draw fine details. In addition to the grades of their lead cores, artists also consider tip fineness when selecting mechanical pencils. To do color drawings, consider a set of crayons, colored pencils, and markers, and/or chalk pastels.

What Charcoal Drawing Supplies Do Artists Need?
Charcoal is excellent for figure drawing and is available as stick, pencil, and in powder form. Charcoal pencils are for drawing fine details while the stick form is best for broad strokes and sketching on large canvases. There are three types of drawing charcoal. Willow charcoal is hard and brittle and puts down light lines that are easy to blend and rub off. Compressed charcoal draws thick lines and is suitable for shading but is difficult to erase or blend. Vine charcoal offers a good balance between willow and compressed varieties.

What Should You Look for in Art Pens When Shopping for Drawing Supplies?
Tips and ink types are important features to note when comparing drawing pens. Besides color, also consider the quality, opacity, flow, and drying speeds of the inks. The best drawing pens use quick-drying, fade-resistant, and waterproof archival inks.

Should Artists Get Specialty Paper When Ordering Drawing Supplies?
Yes and no. Any type of paper can serve as drawing paper. However, it is best to use the right paper for each drawing tool. For example, graphite and charcoal pencils sketch better on thick and coarse paper. Look for a sketchbook filled with smooth pages when drawing with pens, crayons, and markers.
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